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Please recommend a baren 
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Joined: Wed Sep 02, 2009 2:05 pm
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Post Please recommend a baren
I would like to ask you a short question as I want to buy a real hon baren, but am not sure which one to choose. I am actually thinking to buy the 16-strand (fine) baren, thinking this is strong AND fine. I am often printing on medium or heavy paper, and many of my prints are quite large (140 cm x 40 cm), which means that I have to print quite quickly. During printing with the korokoro ball-bearing baren I was often unhappy with the mechanical marks it left. I seldom carve superfine lines, it's more colour blocks.


Wed Sep 02, 2009 2:14 pm
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Location: Tokyo, Japan
Post Re: Please recommend a baren
I'm not sure if it's so easy to make a single recommendation on a hon baren. Looking at the work you showed me, I would think at least two tools would be necessary. There are plenty of wide flat areas, which on heavy paper would need a strong baren, but also plenty of delicate branches, etc., which need a different tool.

If I were making such a print today, I would use these two from my baren drawer:
8-strand fine - for the branches
8-strand strong - for the flat colours

And I would try to keep the paper as soft as possible for the flat colours, using a mylar sheet to help support it while I was carrying it to the blocks.

That would do it, I think ...

As for the marks left by the korokoro baren, are you using a oiled thin mylar backing sheet? That usually keeps the roll marks away ...

Dave


Wed Sep 02, 2009 2:25 pm
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Post Re: Please recommend a baren
thank you very much for your helpful comment. I think I will do that.

One question - I couldn't understand the following and would appreciate it very much if you could explain:

Quote:
And I would try to keep the paper as soft as possible for the flat colours, using a mylar sheet to help support it while I was carrying it to the blocks.

Do you put the paper on the mylar?


Wed Sep 02, 2009 2:30 pm
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Post Re: Please recommend a baren
Quote:
Do you put the paper on the mylar?

Because the paper (large paper) is so 'floppy' when it is soft and damp, I don't try to carry it by itself. I lay a sheet of stiff mylar plastic over the top of the paper on the stack.

Then I pick up the printing paper and the mylar together, holding them in pretty much the same way as normal - curved up to left and right. The mylar adds enough stiffness to allow the paper to be carried to the block ...

After positioning the paper corner in the registration marks, I let the paper and mylar gently down onto the block. Then lift the mylar out of the way, and take the impression normally.

In the old days, before they had such things as stiff mylar, they just used a sheet of dry printing paper ...


Wed Sep 02, 2009 2:35 pm
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Post Re: Please recommend a baren
Wow, what a great idea! That will help a lot. Thank you for that.


Wed Sep 02, 2009 2:37 pm
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